NOTE: Night of the Living Dummy and all other Goosebumps properties are copyrighted to R.L. Stine, Scholastic, and Parachute Press. All rights are reserved to the mentioned people/enterprises listed. I am in no way associated with these people/enterprises nor is the following fanfiction being sold for profit/distribution.

I curled up into a fetal position on my bed as I wept, the tears coating my face with the sadness that was consuming me from the inside. It was like a parasite that had grown onto me, feeding off my depressed state. It grew stronger and stronger as time went along, draining me of my stability, and only accelerated when something came along that reminded me of her.

"H...Heeeea...ther..." I choked out through my sobs as I gripped my plush bear to my chest, embracing it tightly.

It was around July when Heather, my best friend, disappeared. I had gone over to her house one evening to stay the night and when I got there, the house was deserted. Yet, oddly enough, the door was unlocked.

I was frightened but I felt compelled to investigate. This was my best friend and I had to make sure she was alright. I entered the house and warily crept upstairs to Heather's room.

When I opened the door, awe froze me completely. Heather's room was completely trashed, as if there had been a powerful struggle. There were also shards of glass all over the room from the window above her bed. I began to feel dazed when I saw the smears of blood on her sheets and then passed out as shock overtook me.

It was such a tough blow for me. I still have no idea whether she is alive or dead, which was the worst part of all.

I wiped the tears from my face quickly with my pillow as I heard a knock at my door.

"Jennifer, honey?" my mother called out from the other side of the door, "May I come in?"

I darted to the foot of my bed and sat up straight, before I replied in a calm and collected voice, "It's open."

My mother entered the room, a look of concern on her face before she disguised it with a glowing smile. I decided to put on a masquerade and forced a smile onto my face as well. However, my mother's face soon turned into a melancholy expression, letting out a sigh as she sat next to me on the bed.

"Oh Jen..." began my mother, a tone of disappointment in her voice, "Why do you always hide how you feel from me?"

My eyes began to swell with tears once more as I buried my face into my mother's shoulder.

"I'm sorry!" I cried out, feeling terrible for trying to deceive her.

My mother cuddled me closer, rocking me back and forth in her arms almost.

"No, I'm sorry," my mother tried to comfort me. "I didn't mean to make you cry like that. That was not my intention. You know that, right?"

I nodded as I returned the embrace to my mother, replying, "I know, Mom. I know you wouldn't try to hurt me. I just feel bad that I'm still not over what happened... It's been over three months now and I'm no different. I want to feel different... I don't want you to have to worry so much about me. It can't be easy for you to deal with."

My mother pulled away from our embrace as her mouth dropped open, her eyes studying mine as if she were trying to see into me.

"That's how you feel?" my mother questioned me in disbelief. "You feel like you're a burden on me?"

Hunched over, I slowly nodded my head and turned away, embarrassed.

My mother caught me by surprise when she simply let out a warm laugh and caressed my cheek, her touch soothing against my tear stained face. I turned to face my mother again as a real smile began to fill my face. It was relieving to hear that laugh, to know that my mother truly cared to help me through the rough patches in my life.

"Honey, you and Heather have been like sisters for years now," my mother informed me with a reassuring tone. "It's no wonder you're so shaken up by this. And I'm here to help you in any way I can. In fact, I'm even there when you don't need me either. Afterall, you only get one mother a lifetime so when you think about it, I'm a package deal."

Both my mother and I broke out into a hearty laugh at her comment, tears of laughter streaking down our cheeks. After we were done, we wiped our eyes and looked at each other.

My mother wrapped her arm around me as she said, "Do you want to see someone, go to some therapy sessions? It might help you get over what's happened."

I shook my head, still looking and smiling at my mom, as I said, "No, thanks, Mom. I appreciate the offer but I think that I can do without the head shrinker. Might have the opposite effect and land me in the funny farm instead… and I don't want to see those nice young men in their clean white coats."

My mother just glanced at me strangely and chuckled as she spoke, "Whatever you say, you goofball! Oh, by the way, how's your film project going for your Media Studies class?"

"Well, I have it scripted and I have a shooting schedule," I informed my mother. "I also have the shooting locations picked out and Peggy is going to be acting in it. I just need one prop now. So, tomorrow I'm going to go to that magic shop downtown to buy one of their ventriloquist dummies. Then I'll be set. I'm glad I saved up my money over the summer."

"That's good to hear," my mother commented sincerely. "You think you'll need extra money though?"

"No, I have more than enough," I told my mother.

"Well, if you're sure," my mother simply said. "Put all you got into this project, Jen. You have so much potential for filmmaking. Just remember to not let it interfere with your other school work, ok?"

"Of course not," I reassured my mother, letting out a yawn in the process. "I feel a little tired. I think I'm going to go to bed now."

My mother nodded in understanding and embraced me one last time before she stood up, ready to depart from the room.

"Goodnight Mom," I called out to my mother as she reached the door. "...and thank you again."

My mother turned to face me, a glint in her eyes as she replied, "You're welcome, honey. Remember, if you need anything at all, come to me. Good night."

With that all said, my mother exited my room, softly closing the door behind her.

I stood up, stretched out a little, and then walked over to the other side of my room. Turning off the light switch, I strolled back over to my bed, pulled back the covers, and hopped onto the mattress.

I laid my head back onto my soft and fluffy pillows and pulled the thick covers over my body as my eyes fluttered closed.

I opened my eyes hesitantly when an indistinct rustling sound traveled into my room from outside. I quickly sat up in bed, wondering where the strange noise was coming from. I studied my surroundings, watching and listening like a hawk.

All was silent once more. As I was about to let out a sigh of relief, the rustling sound made itself known once more.

However, the noise was growing louder and it sounded like there was a soft yet discomfiting voice accompanying it.

"...Jeeenifeeer..." the soft voice pierced into my attentive ears, sending shivers throughout my body and causing the hairs on my body to stand on end.

I could feel my blankets cling to my skin as I perspirated. The sound was coming from outside my bedroom window!

I wanted to move but I was frozen in fear. I was terrified that if I were to make a simple movement that I would be greeted by whatever possible assailant was awaiting me outside.

My eyes started scanning over my room obscured in darkness, still trying to reassure myself nothing was truly there. It had to just be my imagination getting worked up. At least I hoped that it was only my mind playing tricks on me.

However, it turned out reality was in control afterall when my eyes caught sight of a shadowy outline appearing through my curtains!

A gasp escaped my lips while the outlined figure continued to just stand outside the window, stiff and motionless, as if he were made of wood.

From what I could make out through the curtains, this intruder was tall and brooding, waiting patiently to advance upon its' prey...

It was like he was some hitman!

I tried desperately to cry out for help but to no avail. All my lips would do is quiver, tiny whimpering sounds escaping in intervals.

A high-pitched scream finally tore its' way out of my mouth as a maniacal bellow roared out of the brooding figure while he jumped through my window, glass shards raining all around my room.